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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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PST2C10:

Solving Synthesis Problems through Analogical Encoding
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 6:00 PM -6:45 PM
  Author: Lin Ding
School of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University
614-688-8377, ding.65@osu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Andrew F. Heckler , Cameron M. Teichgraeber
  Abstract: Real-world physics problems often require a solver to apply several concepts jointly to reach a coherent solution. In an effort to enhance students' problem solving abilities, we developed and used synthesis problems, which combine multiple topics that are taught at sufficiently different time points in the introductory physics course or beyond, to help students with recognition, coordination, and integration of fundamental physics concepts. To further provide appropriate scaffolding, we employed the analogical encoding approach by presenting to and asking students to compare two examples of similar underlying structure yet differing surface features prior to their solving a target problem. We investigated the effects of analogical encoding on students' solving physics synthesis problems through three training conditions: example problems with comparison, examples without comparison, and no examples. All students solved the same target synthesis problem at the end of training. Preliminary results show an advantage for analogical encoding.
  Footnotes: None
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